Take a listen to David Bowie’s previously-unreleased track ‘I Can’t Read ’97’

The alternate version comes from a new EP release

David Bowie‘s vaults have been opened once more, as Parlophone Records continue to release tracks from a new EP, ‘Is It Any Wonder?’.

The EP’s six songs are being revealed one week at a time before a physical Record Store Day release, with ‘I Can’t Read ’97’ the second to be shared following an alternate version of ‘The Man Who Sold The World’.

You can see a new video for the song below, which was directed by Tim Pope and shot during rehearsals in Hartford, Connecticut in January 1997.


The original version of ‘I Can’t Read’ appeared on the self-titled debut album of Bowie’s short-lived supergroup Tin Machine in 1989.

Bowie re-recorded the track during the mixing stage of his 1997 LP ‘Earthling’, but it was cut from the album at the last minute to be replaced by ‘The Last Thing You Should Do’.

A darker rendition of the song was recorded for Ang Lee’s film The Ice Storm that same year, with an edited version featuring on the film’s soundtrack and the full-length released as a standalone single in 1998.

Meanwhile, the last fortnight has seen a number of celebrations in honour of the late star, marking both the fourth anniversary of his death and what would have been his 73rd birthday.


A street in Paris was named after the singer, church bells in Amsterdam played a unique version of his song ‘Life On Mars’, and unseen footage of him was screened ahead of a special immersive live experience at the National Space Centre’s planetarium.